Health Minister – Nickolas Steele has admitted that the health system has failed three Grenadian families.
This comes on the heels of public concern surrounding the death of three newborn babies on the maternity ward, at the General Hospital on Friday last.
The minister took the position that the details are not significant but expressed dismay that the deaths occurred in the first place.
The health minister told last Tuesday’s weekly post cabinet press briefing; that in order for any aspect of health care to be fixed, the authorities must admit that there are failures. He acknowledged and recognized that the system failed under his watch then went on to explain how he thinks the incidents in question could be prevented.
According to the minister, on certain occasions, the system fails to meet the expectations of the public and lets everyone down. This he said speaks to the humane touch of those employed within the ministry and are service providers. He wants them, he said, to reconcile their need to be renumerated with being appreciative of their jobs.
Minister Steele said that cases within the health services should be dealt with humanely, politely, professionally, appropriately and in a timely manner but sometimes the system fails in those areas. “We can demand that the patients are to be treated in a professional manner and also be top priority by the health care workers”.
He added that in order to realize the necessary solution, he as minister together with the government are taking seriously, the responsibility of focusing on the direction that health care would take.
The minister called to for cooperation among the Public Service Commission, the unions and himself as Minister of Health since the primary goal is meeting the expectations of the people.
“There must be a feeling when a patient dies and in particular when a newborn child is lost”.
Minister Steele announced that there would be consultations next week with the medical professionals; nurses and doctors regarding retraining and refamilarization with some of the medical practices and techniques. He noted that counseling would be done as well for the doctors, nurses and most importantly parents and families affected by the incidents.
The minister was at that time awaiting an official report from the Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Director.